Published: Fri, 06 September 2013
Seán Kelly MEP has invited the newly-crowned Belgian King and his family to visit Cork and Kerry soon to experience the famous Irish hospitality as the new Belgian Monarch.
King Philippe was crowned King of Belgium on the country’s national day, July 21st, after his father Albert II abdicated to make way for the younger generation of Royals.
“Ireland has firm ties with Belgium, especially since joining the then EEC in 1973. As the EU institutions are mainly based in Brussels, thousands of Irish people have lived and worked in Belgium over the last four decades in particular,” Mr Kelly noted.
“Ireland’s profile in Belgium was once again raised under the country’s seventh and highly successful EU Presidency.
“In more recent times a direct flight has operated between Cork and Brussels, in addition to the frequent Dublin-Brussels flights.
“Many of Ireland’s leading companies, especially across the pharmaceuticals industry, have offices in Brussels also. We also have ties to many other firms across the Belgian private sector which also employs a great deal of Irish people.”
Mr Kelly pointed to the fact that the new King held a promotional role in representing his country overseas in recent years in order to boost trade and investment opportunities.
“I am sure the people of Cork and Kerry would warmly welcome the Belgian Royal family if they were to visit. It would be a mutually beneficial tourism initiative for both Belgium and Ireland in order to promote both countries and attract new visitors,” Mr Kelly added.